Buraka Som Sistema

Buraka Som Sistema: Essential Facts / Essential Tracks

Buraka Som Sistema are restless researchers of the world’s club banger riddims, as seen on their third full album, simply titled Buraka, which references changa tuki, azonto, reggaeton, footwork and bhangra. The crew is in Austin this week for SXSW, and we’ve got everything you need to know before their set in our Essential Facts/Essential Tracks series, showcasing the artists we’ll be covering at this SXSW 2015.


Known as: Buraka is a multi-ethnic sound collective of DJs and creative artists. Together for nearly a decade, Branko, DJ Riot, Conductor and Kalaf (and vocalist Blaya) were all successful solo producers – but as a group exploring the beats that connect techno, Angolan kuduro and Carribean zouk is where they’ve all found their greatest renown. Beloved underground genres like progressive kuduro and moombahton-cousin zouk bass were introduced by the group.

Background: Based out of Lisbon, Portugal

Sounds like: Future bass as seen through an Afro-Carribean filter. It’s a unique blend that weaves electronic melodies through organic riddims in a way that never feels aggressive and mainstream, but is also uniquely different from most bass heavy indie sounds.

Why you should see their showcase: Between Buraka’s standout 2014-released (and self-titled) fourth studio album and live stage performances that have been the subject of feature-length films, the crew being mentioned in such a noteworthy light is understandable. Furthermore, Branko’s the head of Enchufada Records, a label supported by the likes of Diplo that has supported globally respected underground artists like bass-smilths Castro and Mala Noche via solo releases.

Here’s another fact: Enchufada’s “Upper Cuts” series has had a hand in shaping how Afro-Caribbean (and progressive) sounds could play a role in underground to mainstream global pop and dance styles.



Tuesday, March 17
1:00AM – 1:40AM